"Dancing Tid-bits" Issue #160, Thursday, November 13, 2003

Dancing Tid-bits
"Partnering the Partner" by Hilliers

First, let me share some of the mail I have received and then we will get into the nitty gritty.

1. Being from Louisville Ky., a river town and home of the Kentucky Derby, I really enjoyed Stephen's tibbits on LOD.... Douglas

2. Congratulations on your excellent series of Tid-bits. They're a great read and much food for thought. On the topic of ladies doing heel turns (on ,say, the reverse turn after a feather step in fox-trot). we were having some problems with this until we went to a talk at a competition 2 years ago. The talker pointed out that the man turns the lady. The lady should do nothing to turn herself, but just let the man do all the work. When we put this into practice the same day, it worked like a dream. My partner had been trying to initiate her own turning action which, being to a very slightly different rhythm to my turning movement, meant that we lost smoothness and contact. In this instance, I think it's the man does all the work. Please keep up your excellent column. It's a lot of work and commitment, but believe me, it's very much appreciated....Phil

My Reply!

Thank you Douglas and Phil and now let me give you a summary of a lecture given by Stephen and Jennifer Hilllier a couple days ago. The topic is "Partnering the Partner". As you can see it is not exactly Lead and Follow but something like that.

1. Ladies must do More: As they start the Lecture, this is the first bold statement that comes from Mr. Hillier and Jennifer gives her wholehearted approval. How many times have you heard a lady saying.."Just Lead me and I will Follow". Forget about the heel turn, some don't even know their right foot from the left foot doing a Feather Step.

I did not want to be rude to Phil so I simply said that "every thing has to be taken with a grain of salt," but what I was really saying that "I disagree". So Phil, you can take this tidbit to your coach for further discussion.

2. A good Lady must be able to show the whole program herself. That is the second statement coming from these world class coaches. Now we must understand what is being said. Stephen and Jennifer are not suggesting that Man and Lady are dancing at their own to different rhythms; of course that would be foolish. What they mean that Lady's feet and body should be educated enough that she can demonstrate the whole program herself. As soon as she comes in the Man's basket, then with her intuition she follows him diligently. They dance in complete harmony with each other and thus create beautiful dancing.

3. This Discipline and Practice should be instituted from the very first day, the very first lesson.

4. It is easier to move a moving object rather than a stationary one.

5. Togetherness more important than contact

6. Flexibility, Balance, Influence rather than lead, early indication (1 beat in advance).

This is all self explanatory and I hope we take a message home from this important lecture. I hope you can understand the subtle difference between Lead and Follow and what Hilliers call "Partnering the Partner".

With best Wishes, Max

This article is part of and should be seen in the frame context of Dancesport UK, Tid-bits